The Non Conformists Chapels in the Glasbury Area
This article was prepared by M. A. V. Gill in 2005 for the "Glasbury Book" (unpublished),
It was first published with annotations in Brycheiniog Vol XVIII 2012 . The excellent artwork is also by the same local author


In a period when so many Nonconformist chapels throughout Wales are being made redundant and demolished or converted to secular use, no fewer than three in the parish of Glasbury appear in Anthony Jones’ monograph Welsh Chapels (1984), listed as buildings which should be “saved at all costs”: Maesyronen, Capel-y-ffin and Treble Hill, each representative of a different period and style of chapel building. In J.W. Hobbs’ reminiscences, he describes the Chapel Sunday school Anniversaries as great events, when children and adults would give songs and recitations: “One year a grand ‘Dialogue’ was given by the men of the Chapel. It was called ‘Noah’s Ark’ and the part of the patriarch was taken by the white haired old stationmaster, Mr. Jones. There were about a dozen men and boys taking part, but the only two names I remember were a Mr. Holder and the jovial old Precentor, Mr. James Morgan, who added a touch of humour by rushing in, getting stage fright and instead of the grandiloquent speech he should have delivered, looking blankly around and then blurting out, ‘the river has ruz, and I’m feared as most of my ships have been washed away’. I was a sinner who repented and arrived after Noah had entered the Ark (the Chapel vestry), and heard the solemn words from inside ‘Too late, too late, the door is shut, you cannot enter now!’”.


Seeing that the neighbourhood of Velindre was “signally destitute of the means of grace”, Rev. David Charles (President of Trevecca College) began preaching at a farmhouse in the village, then arranged for religious services to be held on successive Sundays for the some twenty years. The Religious Census of 1851 recorded an average attendance of 35 persons. Though the gathering was modest, such was the enthusiasm aroused that it was decided to erect in a new place of worship, and a site was given for the purpose by Colonel Thomas Wood of Gwernyfed. The opening of Ebenezer Chapel on 29th October 1862 was attended by a considerable number of friends from the surrounding area, and sermons were preached in both English and Welsh.

Chapel events played an important part in the life of the community. On 26th October 1894, the head-mistress of Velindre school noted: “The children are away on account of the Special Service held at the Methodist Chapel this afternoon. I came up to the School as usual and found only 2 children, so dismissed them”; on 2nd November 1903: “Tuesday afternoon the annual Tea for the scholars of the Calvinistic Methodist Sunday School attracted so many children that a half holiday was necessary”. For over a century the chapel was at the centre of village activities, but by the 1970s the congregation had dwindled to such an extent that the chapel was forced to close. On the market for some months, it was eventually purchased in 1983 for use as a dance studio for local children. After a while, part and then all of the building was used as a sewing workshop for the mail-order production of classical ballet costumes. Known as “Velindre Dance Supplies”, its clientele was worldwide. When the owners decided to sell the successful enterprise (which still operates in Talgarth under the style of “Dancewear UK”), they retained the chapel and in 1995 converted it into a dwelling house.

Source : -- "A Chapter on the Churches and Chapels in the Parish of Glasbury " by M.A.V. Gill